anding.
Frederick was displeased, but he decided to give mercy to his wife’s friend.

 

Frederick nodded his head a little, and Chloe was relieved.

 

Then, a small hand squeezed her skirt.
Abel, who was hiding behind Chloe, stepped forward when things seemed to be going against his mother.

 

‘Oh, my God, they’re the same.’

 

Frederick groaned inwardly.
The child resembled Gerard not only in appearance, but also the way he tried to protect Chloe.

 

“Abel, say hello.
This is Grand Duke Anata and his wife.”

 

Chloe explained, clasping Abel’s little hand.

 

“…Hello, I’m Abel Blanchett, son of Marquis Blanchett.”

 

Abel, who had not yet memorized a proper greeting, briefly introduced himself.

 

“Oh, Abel! You’ve grown up a lot.
You look the same as Gerard when he was a kid.”

 

Leila was pleased as she stroked Abel’s head.
Abel smiled, forgetting his nervousness.
He liked that he resembled his father.

 

“Do you remember me? I am your parents’ friend, Aunt Leila.
Welcome to our castle!”

 

“Long time no see, young master.
I am Frederick de Anata.”

 

“Ah! We should also introduce Renee and Noah.”

 

Leila turned around, looking for her children.
Renesia de Anata and Noah de Anata hid behind each of Frederick’s long legs.
To be precise, they were hanging on them.

 

“Come on, say hello to Marchioness Blanchett and the young master.”

 

“Hello! I’m Anata’s eldest daughter, Renesia de Anata.”

 

Renesia, who wore her black hair short with a cute red ribbon, introduced herself bravely.

 

“Ah, hello.
I am Anata’s eldest son, Noah de Anata… Yes.”

 

Noah shyly introduced himself.
His red bow tie matched Renesia’s.
Chloe greeted the children kindly.

 

“I greet you, young lord and lady of the Eternal North.
When did you get so big?”

 

Noah smiled shyly and hid behind Frederick’s leg again.

 

On the other hand, Renesia kept glancing at Abel, curious about a boy her age.
It looked like she wanted to talk to him.

 

“Oh, my daughter likes your son?”

 

“Mom!”

 

Leila’s mischievous remarks made Renesia shy, and she screamed at her.
Leila continued to tease her about how cute it was while Frederick held Noah and lovingly watched his wife and daughter.

 

Perhaps it was the appearance of the harmonious Anata family, but Chloe became very upset.
Was it because she overlaid herself with Renesia, who was being teased by Leila? She suddenly felt as if she was drenched in cold water.

 

‘Why does she have to reveal everyone else’s feelings?’

 

Chloe felt that all the joy she had had disappeared.

 

As the confrontation between mother and daughter escalated, Frederick intervened as he took his trembling daughter into his arms.

 

“No way.
My daughter will live with me for the rest of her life.”

 

It was a sickly sweet scene.
Considering he was called ‘The Ice Duke’ in the past, it was a surprising sight.

 

Chloe, who had been lost in thought for a moment, looked at Renesia, whose face was dyed red.

 

“I am grateful that the Grand Duchess takes good care of my son.
You don’t know how much I worried that Abel wouldn’t have peers in the North.
During our stay, please play a lot.”

 

Renesia nodded.
Chloe’s words had eased her mind.

 

“Yes, I agree.
Anyway, let’s not talk here.
Let’s go in! Our chef put so much energy into the food that it shouldn’t go cold.”

 

Leila smiled brightly and gestured to Chloe and Abel.
Contrary to Chloe’s confused mind, it was a pleasant and noisy welcome.

 

★★★

 

“Hmmm, hmm.”

 

Squeak.

 

“…Ah!”

 

Anton, the deputy of the First Order of Imperial Knights, hummed and opened the door of his General’s office without knocking.
The General, who was not normally present after work hours, was sitting at his desk.

 

Meeting the eyes that looked at him coldly without saying a word, Anton blubbered excuses.

 

“Oh.
You haven’t left work yet, Boss? Of course, I didn’t think you’d be here…”

 

“So opening the door to your General’s room without knocking is standard behavior for you?”

 

“Oh no! I’ll correct it!”

 

Gerard glared at Anton and then lowered his gaze back to his papers.
When Gerard didn’t say much, Anton, who was looking around, crept up to the General with a document, the reason for his visit.

 

“…Well, I will look into it.”

 

Gerard took the papers Anton had given him and set them aside.
Anton looked at Gerard curiously.

 

‘Why are you still working?’

 

It was completely different from usual.
Other knights said that the General had been working overtime these days.
They must have been right.

 

“Excuse me, General.
Why are you still at work? You didn’t leave as soon as your shift ended.”

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